Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Mr. Hewson, I Presume

"The only limits are the limits of your imagination. Dream up the kind of world you want to live in - dream out loud. At high volume!" - Bono

I'm late.

I'm about to hop into my car and drive down to Sydney - I have an appointment at the sleek Apple  Shop, to hopefully exchange my broken iPhone. Then, I may or may not have an appointment with destiny.

Number one on  my bucket list? The Numero Uno thing I really need to do before I die and leave this planet? Get my photo taken with Bono.

Bono is in Sydney, to turn the lights on the Opera House and Harbour Bridge ... illuminating them red , in honour of World Aids Day tomorrow. Celebrities are even getting in on the act, with "online deaths" planned, and fans are given the opportunity to buy them back by donating money.

It's an awesome cause. For the first time ever, I've even added a twibbon to my twitter avatar. (Is "twibbon" not the stupidist word of all time?) (I'm cynical enough to know that a twibbon will not really do much ... so I will donate some $$$ tomorrow too. Money talks.)


So, I'm hoping to say hello to Bono today. Contemplated making a cardboard sign and standing near the Opera House in the rain all afternoon, looking for a big switch that he will flick later to make Australia's icons go (RED) ... but I couldn't POSSIBLY do that. (A cardboard sign would go soggy in the rain.)

I want a photo of us together, maybe doing gang signs. Why not?

I know he's the lead singer of the greatest band the world has ever seen, and I am a middle-aged married mother of small children. So what.

I plan on giving him my blog business card, so he might even read this. I know he won't, but there's a 0.3 percent chance he will.

And fuck statistics, anyway.


Dear Bono,

Thank you for the soundtrack to this, my wild and precious life. I don't know exactly how you knew when I was going through all of my different stages to get here ... but you did. Your music and your heart sings straight to my heart ..... rips the skin up in my chest and goes straight in there. Your words have saved me, often. The Angel finally hit the ground ... and then she got up and got on with it.

Thank you for being a flawed, cheeky, hot, bumbling, awesome rock star. Thank you for using your powers for good. Thank you for holding my hand that time on stage back in '06. You can't dance for shit. I love you.

Eden XO

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Answer to the World's Problems

The answer to the world's problems is for everybody to get cancer check-ups.

Because then you wonder if you have cancer.

Oh my goodness what if I have cancer! My life! What if I lose my life and I haven't done all the things I wanted to yet or overcome my obstacles or travelled to New York or forgiven people or learnt how to do the tango, how to cook a lemon souffle, how to just breathe and let it all go?

Then, you get the results back and they are clear. (Note: this especially works if a loved one goes through the testing, too.)

Then, the panic wears off and you are left to live your life. Which makes you gratefully want to achieve all the things you've always put aside for another day. Today is the another day!

Life is short. Do all of the wild and precious things you can possibly think of. Now. There won't always be time. (Because sometimes, the results are bad.)

Last night I had the best flying dream I have ever had in my life. Some of the best ones have occurred during my darkest times: as a child, and in my twenties. I think our Souls can only fly free at night, during sleep.

I dreamt that I was in a really crowded pub, with cigarette smoke and booze and mayhem. I had to go, because I didn't belong anymore. I walked through the worst rooms  ... they reeked, and had the most-lost people in there. Walking through, I grabbed a microphone and wanted to tell everyone they didn't have to live like this anymore and could come outside with me if they wanted to.

I tried to talk, but just then, Gun's N Roses "Sweet Child'O'Mine" came on. (The song I had on constant play in my bedroom as a sixteen year old just after the suicide of my (step)dad in 1988.)

I couldn't interrupt the song, so just smiled and waved at everybody, and walked outside into the fresh air. There was a beautiful expanse of water, cross between a beach and a lake. It stretched on for miles. I started to fly, over the water, away from the pub. But I wasn't just flying ... I was gliding and flipping and gracefully dancing. Dance-flying. It was SO wonderful.

All of the people in the pub were watching me, I used my thought-waves to tell them that they all could do this too. They just had to step outside. Easy!

I looked down into the water and knew that there were probably dozens of sharks, swimming along below me, waiting for me to fly low and snap me up. That was ok .... danger lurks everywhere. It doesn't mean I had to stop flying.


My boys carefully studying a ladybug. Max ended up passing it to me.

"You make a wish, mum!"

I honestly couldn't think of anything to wish for. I have everything. So I gave my wish over to God.


I hope you have a really lovely weekend, truly. I hope you are ok, down inside yourself, wherever you are.

Life can be amazing, if you let it.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

I don't celebrate Thanksgiving because I'm an Australian, but I *did* talk about gratitude last night in my narcotics anonymous meeting. Does that count?

Hi, it's me again - Eden. I'm here because I write on my blog and this is my blog, and it's about me and how I view the world. Both the physical world and the world in me. And the world in my guys, and the world in my dark shady past. (I try to shine a light on that, to make it less scary BOO).

Sometimes I am funny, sometimes not. I still don't know what I'm doing - in my life, in my home, and *especially* in this website. I come here with so much to say - I have so much to tell you! But don't we all? Everybody has a story, everybody has something to say. Everybody can have a blog, if they want to.

I try to have a streamlined, consistent narrative thread here, but that doesn't always happen. I am a very messy, very open personal blogger. For so many years I was the biggest fattest liar you could ever know - but now I have forged a new way of living and I seem to have gone in the complete opposite direction.


Yesterday I was walking down the street, looking at all the people, living their lives. I wondered how many were in pain right now, or depressed, or anxious, or hiding. I couldn't tell. I hoped they were all ok.

I ended up taking half a day off my life, and driving to the beach. I felt the sun on my face and the sand in my toes, and it really soothed my troubled mind/brain/Spirit/Soul/psyche. I ate dinner from an extremely cool restaurant that I'd been dying to try out for years. Ordered crab pasta that was cooked and served in a bag. The waitress was so lovely .... she had gotten up that morning and worked as a personal trainer, then drove to Sydney airport to check in baggage at United Airlines, and now she was pouring our sparkling mineral water. The couple next to me had a six year old son whose name was Rocco. I told them that I did, too. We agreed that it was a great name. When they left, we wished each other a good life with our respective Rocco's.


I did a meeting and was humbled by the honesty in the room. (AGAIN). Honest people are often the best kinds of people.


After the most delicious frozen yoghurt I have ever had in my life, I drove home in time to hear Rocco fall out of bed so I ran in and cuddled him. He put his arms and feet around me like a baby koala. I can't believe I'm a mother to such beautiful children. I'm so so lucky and blessed. I can't believe that a person can change so much, in one lifetime. I'm a Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac. Maybe I've been through all the starsigns - twice. And now I've finally worked out my shiz, so when I die I get to stay up in Heaven. (Whatever Heaven is.)

Because how dumb and hard is this world and this life, seriously!


I brought home a pocketful of sand in my pocket, to remind me of the sun.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Falling With Style

"That's not flying! That's .... falling with style."
- Woody, "Toy Story"

Sometimes I fly and sometimes I fall. I fell, most of the weekend, over and over. Last night, Dave held both my arms and said, "Sometimes, you are such hard work, Eden Barrie." (He uses my maiden name when he sees me slipping into old behaviours, old rages, old hurts.)

I smiled and looked at him. "The best things in life often are, Davey."

I wasn't even offended, because it is so true. Sometimes my past comes back to life like a zombie and chases me around the house. And nobody can see it except me. It's tiring.


Rocco did a huge poo on the potty. I was so excited and proud that I almost cried. We all clapped and cheered. Rocco still wanders the house at night, looking for a bed. Like a puppy. Every night he comes into my bed, seeking a cuddle. Then he runs to Max's room, then to Tim's. I often think, at 2.30am .... THAT'S IT. I AM GOING TO THE HARDWARE TOMORROW AND BUYING A LOCK AND BOLTING HIM IN HIS BEDROOM AT NIGHT.

Of course I would never do that. One day he will sleep. Surely.


Every time I see the word surely I think of Leslie Neilsen. "Don't call me Shirley."


Yesterday was a study in how low I could possibly feel, for no reason whatsoever. It was fascinating. There was only one thing I could think of doing that could help - our Christmas tree is now proudly decorated.

I listened to Annie Lennox's 'Christmas Cornucopia.' BEAUTIFUL.  (I'm a Eurythmics fan from way back.)


The other night, Max and I got into my car to come home ... whenever I put it into reverse, the reverse parking camera comes up in the rear view mirror.

Up in the mirror .... was the HUGEST BLACK SPIDER. It was so scary. Unfortunately, I have given Max my fear of spiders. He was freaked and trying not to show it. I bluffed it ....

"Ok Max. There's only one thing to do. I'm getting out of our vehicle to flick him off. You wait here. No man gets left behind."

I put on an army drill seargent's voice and we both nervously laughed. I had to do this. Otherwise, our friend would come home with us, like Robert De Niro clinging underneath the car in the remake of Cape Fear.

I walked around the car .... up to the camera near the numberplate ... and saw the teeniest, cutest little spider. I blew him off, so thin were his spindly legs. When I got back in the car, Max thought I was the bravest mum EVER. I confessed, told him how tiny the spider actually was, and we both belly laughed.

"Actually sweetheart, it's a great lesson in life. Sometimes, the things you think are so big and scary and overwhelming .... are actually just very small."

He was silent, as I watched his mind tick over.  I wonder if he will ever think of that, one day down the track, if he gets chased by invisible zombies.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Beautiful Garbage

Dave rang me: "Cancer free hon. What's our next adventure?"

We took the boys to the garbage tip to celebrate - I really don't think they have ever had so much fun in their respective lives.


I have fallen into some strange kind of slump, these days afterwards. Odd.

Thank you thank you thank you for your comments, and emails. Thank you so much. Have a lovely weekend. Be kind. xo

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Essays from the Deep

" don't think about it at all,
just keep your head low,
and don't think about it all ..
.. soldier on, soldier on
keep your heart close to the ground."

- Temper Trap 'Soldier On'

Yesterday, after a really, REALLY hard weekend, two birds flew right underneath the wheels of my car. I was driving down the main street of town .. there was no time to stop, just - bammo. I searched my rear view mirror as I drove off, willing them to be ok. I had killed one. I'm a bird killer. There is no meaning to be made of it. Sometimes, things happen in life that make no sense at all. Ever.


My two boys have been sick for days. Tired and cranky and sick and naughty. I have had no reprieve at all, as Dave has been away. It's been hard. I kept having flashbacks, to when Dave was down in hospital getting surgery and his first dose of chemo. Rocco was a newborn. My husbands cancer was a boa constrictor and swallowed my baby whole ... it spat out a tricky two-year old to me, only recently. What?


Tomorrow is a cancer check-up, down at the Big Hospital. I'm sure it will be fine. I'm sure it will be fucked. One of those statements is true. Dave scoffs, whenever I ask him what he thinks. It's hard to believe he ever had cancer at all. The only proof, it seems, is the huge vertical scar on his tummy, when they opened him up to see how far it had spread. Oh, cancer, you spanish dancer. You tried to hide but we found you, peekaboo!


Do you know what the biggest symptom of cancer is? Flu-like symptoms. Of course, our boys have been unwell, so it makes sense that Dave being sick lately is that he just caught something from them.


These past two years, I have often thought of the cancer ward. It was just horrible - and not because it was a cancer ward. Because it was right next to a big dumping ground for all of the garbage in the hospital. Because it stank. Because it had contaminated water when Dave was in there ... because it was dark and depressing and there was no light at all. One night, a guy walked in to Dave's room and took a piss in the hand basin. Dave feebly told him to fuck off and called the nurse, who got the cleaners to come and disinfect it straight away because piss is radioactive during chemotherapy. Another night, the Buddhist nun had a fit in her bed next to Dave's. He saved her life by pressing the buzzer - but she was so ill. I'd be surprised if she was still alive today. Her friends used to come in and sit around her bed, praying and chanting. Dave found it soothing.

The absolute worst thing about the cancer ward, was the artwork. I remember holding everything together, carrying Rocco in the sling, walking through it all .... but it was the artwork that made me despondent, want to slit my wrists. I'd always told myself that if Dave stayed any longer in that ward, I'd take down some of our art and hang it on his wall.

I still want to. I'll go with Dave to his appointment tomorrow, just to be annoying supportive .... and I will tell him my plan to take new artwork down to his old stomping ground. Something with some light in it, for goodness sake. He'll probably tell me to go for it - he always does.

Imagine if I didn't even ask the hospital, if I just waltzed in with beautifully coloured canvasses under my arm ... and swapped it over with all the bad art. (Bad art! Naughty!)

I think I will.


Obviously, on a deep level, my concerns regarding my husbands health have been triggered lately, which is why I can't catch a breath or a wave or a break. I know that he will be given the all-clear tomorrow. He always does.

And yet .... I keep thinking of that poor little confused birdie, standing next to its mate on the road, wondering why he won't get up and fly away.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

I don't know how to do a powerpoint presentation: Sydney Bloggers Festival 2010

Here's a photo of me talking at the Inaugural Sydney Bloggers Festival last Thursday:

You know that Brady Bunch episode where Cindy gets picked to appear on a television show? And she turns into a complete brat, annoying everybody, totally up herself because she's all famous? Then she goes on the show and becomes terrified and blank and doesn't answer anything?


My talk was kind of like that. It was an utter privilege to be a part of something so cool ... yet, when it was my turn to talk I was so nervous and clammy clamster. My heartbeat was actually moving my badge up and down. I had been so looking forward to it. Alas, I dropped the ball.

I started with stats and what is a mumblogger, demographics, the ripe potential in the Australian blogosphere at the moment ... but I got flustered and stammery. I thought I would walk nonchalantly around the room, with witty confidence, gaily chatting and holding my clicker with style. I just stood in the one spot, frozen. Then I just said, well, that's all the boring stuff out of the way. Now here is my blogging story ....

... and I told my blogging story. My big, fat, messy, wonderful, terrible blogging story. That story is all mine ... all of the ups and downs and joy and mire that I put in here. I am the expert on it, so I spoke much more freely ... (and openly!) ... than I had originally intended. That's ok. I could kind of feel the shift in the room when I started talking from the heart. And everybody was so lovely to me afterwards, when I just wanted to run from the building, all the way down O'Connell Street, far away from the powerpoint clicker.

The best thing was, I met some really fantastic people. My tribe. My homies. People who don't think blogging is odd. (I mean, blogging IS odd, but the people who do it anyway? Awesome.)

Blogging is so important to me. It's really exciting to be a part of the blogosphere down here in Australia at the moment. It's not a passing fad .... it's a revolution.

Viva La Revolución, baby!


Photo: A Cajun Down Under

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A List for the Listless

1. Controversially, I have switched from a soy latte to a skim flat white to ..... a cappuchino with one sugar. Who the heck needs chocolate AND sugar in their coffee? (Apparently me. What?)

2. I used the word "heck" just then because I've given up swearing. Just like that.

3. Today I drove to my good friend Sophie's house and wept in front of her and she was so lovely about it. I usually keep all of my pain to myself. Lucky Sophie! She is having exhibitions everywhere lately ... the pic at the top of this post is one in her latest series, "Portrait of a Lost Soul." I call her a creative genius. The world needs more compliments. And more Sophie's.

4. I am addicted to Mad Men. Imagine being the set designer for that show?

5. I have a world-weary heart, today. It'll pass. Even kidney stones pass.

6. My 18-year old Timmy Guyo finally got all of his clothes washing up to date. There was a huge pile in the middle of his bedroom ..... Rocco walked up there, climbed on top of it, and took his nappy off. His poo cascaded onto the clean washing heap, rather like Neil Armstrong putting a flag on the moon.

7. Dave completely forgot and blew off our wedding anniversary. I sulked. I was *completely* understanding about it.

8. I'm talking on some panels at Sydney Bloggers Festival on Thursday. Come say hi. I'll be hiding under the table.

9. U2 is coming to Sydney in a few weeks ... I haven't got a ticket yet. I KNOW. I do, however, plan on meeting Bono outside of his hotel, and getting a photo taken with him. So .... can anyone help me with that?

10. Max and Rocco have started petty squabbling with each other. I'm not enjoying that, at all. Perhaps it's my karma for arguing so much with my brother Cameron? I was .... eight years older than him.

11. I love my brother Cameron so much. You know how your siblings are the closest people in your life to understanding where you came from? Yeah. It's like a secret language. Rocco sees him and goes flying into his arms for a huge hug. Cam's face lights up beautifully.

12. Today in the car I said to Max, "Sweetheart, you know I love you? I really hope you know that."

He replied - "Yes mum, I know you do. You tell me every single day!"


Friday, 5 November 2010

Putting the Fun in Fünf

Five years ago today, a popper went off .....

... signifying a union of two hardcore motherfuckers.

I love you Dave. You made me grow up. You have taught me so much over these past ten years together, mate. Remember that time we had only been together for a few weeks and we were sitting in a sauna at the local indoor pool - you told me that one day you would build me a sauna in our own house? I didn't believe you. But you did. You always do what you say you are going to do .... I wasn't used to people like that.

Remember when Max was born and we used to argue and fight so much ... we hated each other? So we did couples counselling, took Max in his teeny bassinet and he'd sit quietly in the corner, while we shouted at each other. It was infuriating to me, when I would dob on you to our therapist and he would *always* put it back on to me, telling me you weren't a mindreader. I'm pretty sure I turned to him one day and asked him, "Whose fucking side was he on, anyway?" (I was so mature, back then. Remember?)

Remember that time we went to our appointment but got the time wrong ... so ended up going to a coffeeshop together and just talking with each other? We had spent so much time analysing our relationship, we forgot to actually be in our relationship. We didn't go back to therapy, after that.

You got me, mate. My heart and soul forever. No man had ever done that before, I wouldn't let them because my heart was a jagged hunk of bleeding meat enclosed in barbed wire. One night you wanted a huge hug but I could only offer out my pinky. "That's all I can give you right now."

So you held my pinky, and drifted off to sleep.

These days, I give you my pinky, pointer, thumbs. Manhands, manfarts, stinky breath, tangled love. I give you time and space to be yourself, and you give me the same. I can't believe we went to New York together. It was an utter pleasure, watching you soak that city in. I knew you would love it. I know you so well, my survival-mode, hardcore, macho, clever hot hot guy. When your ute drives in the driveway I get so excited.

I can't believe the cancer didn't kill you. Every single day spent with you is a bonus. We are so so lucky. We build beautiful boys, together, too. You never had a dad and you are the best dad I have ever met.

Remember I dragged you to see Eat Pray Love last week, and Julia Roberts says to Javier Bardem "All of my friends say I need a man." And Javier says back, "You don't need a man ..... you need a champion."

You and I laughed so hard, because we both know you are my champion.


The fifth wedding anniversary denotes the gift of wood. Tonight, I shall give you a toothpick when you make that most annoying clicking sound with your tongue after dinner, trying to get the food out.

Because you will. Oh yes, you will.

Almost eleven years together ... five years since I stuffed up our carefully planned bridal waltz. Remember I kept trying to lead you?

And I always will.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

One poo, to rule them all.

I was in a recovery meeting yesterday, and I got asked to share. The topic was "being grounded." I mused aloud .... what does that even mean? What does being grounded actually mean? And, as it all too often happens in meetings, I answered my own questions in the middle of my share. For me, being grounded is the big fat rock I brought back home from the beach, that sits under my desk so that when I'm working, I put my feet on it to remind me of the beach.

It's walking barefeet outside ... literally, grounding myself to the earth. It's standing on a shoreline and looking out at the horizon, all of the mental stress and cogs in my mind getting a big hit of salt air.

Getting grounded is a primal thing .... to remind myself that I'm just a creature after all, scuttling around the world, doing my best.

After my share I turned to Rocco to see why he had suddenly stopped tearing the place apart .... he was in the middle of doing a poo in his nappy. I whispered, "Mate! Are you doing a poo?" He shook his head, no, like he always does, eyes bulging.

Potty training is a non-event around here. He is old enough to do it, I can tell. He just doesn't want to. Last week I bribed him with a "present" ... some stickers, if he did a poo on the potty. He got excited, ran to the toilet, and shut the door.


And he did .... a steaming pile, on the toilet floor, right next to the potty. I went in and said awwww, mate .... you didn't do it in the potty! He screamed at me that he did, got on the potty, and when he got back up had left the tiniest smidge of poo on the rim of the potty. "SEE!" So, he happily played with his stickers while I cleaned the poo.

Yesterday, I had left his nappies in the car and had to race to get Max so I buckled him in.

I thought it was just a little poo, and could wait five minutes.

I was wrong.

I parked the car, and proceeded to change his nappy. Max quickly got out of the car - wise move.

I had so much to do, errands and work and more work and appointments, all in the one day. I was already manic, in my head.

It was a sticky poo - you know those ten-wipers? Yeah. There had been a blowout .... there was poo on his carseat, at the back of his shorts, on his t-shirt. I stripped all of his clothes off, and there was poo all over him. All over my jeans. I looked down - on the car console, the keys, even my new hairclip had poo on it. The stench was really bad, but I don't even bat an eyelid anymore, just clean up the poo. I'm used to it. It's my job .... poocleaner.

Max stood outside in the rain, gagging and looking in. It was a poo comedy. The car was a mess. Suddenly I had this thought pop into my head:

"You are exactly where God wants you to be."

Maybe I was. Maybe, getting grounded for me in that moment was a poo blowout in the main street of town. I started laughing, and Rocco laughed with me, my little poomaker.
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